「綺羅星十字団の挑戦」 (Kiraboshi Jūjidan no Chōsen)
“The Challenge of the Holy Order of Glittering Stars”

Well, this certainly was a fairly risqué episode, with the formal introduction of Watanabe Kanako (Niina Ayano) bringing with it plenty of sex appeal to the series. Bones went to no small length to portray her as a rich slut, kissing some nameless guy she didn’t know through the glass. That said, the episode throughout was fairly suggestive, with fellow Kiraboshi member Shinada Beido’s (Chiba Chiemi) First Stage power being the ability to manipulate people (or perhaps just virgins) through a kiss. Speaking of Kiraboshi, we got a formal introduction to all of the heads of the organization, who all just happen to be class or schoolmates of Takuto. It’s certainly similar to Revolutionary Girl Utena in that respect, with virtually all the students having a secret identity and fighting with each other, which is to be expected as Star Driver and Utena have the same script writer, Enokido Yoji.

That said, there’s another thing this show has in common with Utena, and it’s one that I’m not particularly fond of. As all of you have probably noticed, this episode had some very stark similarities with last episode, that is to say that 50% of the storyboard appears to be a rehash, with different characters and dialog taking up the 50% that isn’t a rehash. If the anime continues to do this, then it will be my number one caveat with the show, and it’ll be a damn big one. Simply put, I can’t find myself getting into the story or characters by having a rehashed formula every episode, since I can basically predict how the episode will turn out without fail. Takuto meets a Kiraboshi member at school, interacts with them a bit, Zero Time battle, resolve of the situation with Takuto and Wako becoming closer. That isn’t to say that series of events is bad writing, but having to watch it unfold with each episode is certainly going to make me want to toss my harddrive that I store Star Driver’s files on. I can only hope that this series won’t whore this type of storytelling out.


Episode 3

「おとな銀行」 (Otona Ginkō)
“Adult Bank”

Building off of last episode, we’re presented with more background and fleshing out for Watanabe and her, shall we say, pawns. It seems that anytime Watanabe is around sexual charms are sure to follow, with the episode beginning with her attempting to cajole Takuto into visiting her on one of her lonely nights as a bride separated from her husband. To say getting used to her odd advances takes some time is an understatement, but I must admit that I appreciate the fact that Bones isn’t afraid of putting such an obvious slut in the series who obviously has a sexual life, no matter how nonchalant they attempt to make it seem. Personally, I don’t like Watanabe much, but I’d imagine that’s an universal opinion for the most part. She came off as stuck up, manipulating, and a gold digging whore, so it’s only natural to dislike her from the outset. I’m sure she has more to her story and I’m looking forward to Bones revealing that, but until that time comes she’s probably my least favorite character thus far. Ironically though, Watanabe is probably the most interesting character from Kiraboshi so far and probably the most interesting character in the entire series aside from Takuto; for nefarious reasons of course, but I digress.

While Watanabe’s servants weren’t very interesting, the fight against one of them, Dai Takashi (Akabane Kenji) definitely was. The art during this week’s Zero Time was amazing, and had me making sure I wasn’t watching a movie production. Once again, the amount of resources Bones has poured into this series shined through with this. While I would say that the animation wasn’t quite on par with the art of the robots, it was still fairly high quality as well, with the Cybodies’ movements being animated fluidly. If one thing is for sure, the number one attraction of this show is the absolute budget shower it gets every episode.

Still, we have the same formula of building up a Kiraboshi character, leading to a Kiraboshi meeting, which leads to a battle in Zero Time, which ends with Wako becoming “closer” to Takuto. All of this stitched together with the same exact transformation sequences. As I stated above, this is my number one caveat with the show, and it’s a fairly big one. The animation and art in this episode was gorgeous and very epic-looking, complimented by a soundtrack that was just as equally amazing, and overall the choreographing was handled nicely as usual with this series. Even with all that, I can’t find myself enjoying any of it because I feel like I’m watching the same thing every week. Quite frankly, it gets tiresome and outright frustrating seeing the same exact set of events rehashed on a weekly basis with a little sprinkle of difference. As some have said, it feels like this series is based around the idea of a “Monster of the Week”. I understand that at this point we’re only into the first 3 episodes of the series and still have a lot more to get through, and this formula may very well only be for the introduction of the 5 Kiraboshi heads, but as of right now I’m a bit disappointed in the lack of variety this show has to offer, as far as plot goes. That said, I’m certain, or at least hopeful, that this is the way the writers wants us to feel at this point, and are simply using this formulaic format to lure us into a false sense of complacence (or like thereof).


Episode 4

「ワコの歌声」 (Wako no Utagoe)
“Wako’s Song”

Now, this has been my favorite episode so far; since the first episode at least. Primarily, it’s because we finally broke out of the formula and actually had some TakutoxWako development other than Wako fawning over Takuto in Zero Time when he does cool shit. I found their little alone time together quite interesting, and we got a chance to learn more about both characters’ pasts, discovering that Takuto wasn’t always the FABULOUS bishounen he is today and that Wako is unable to leave their island due to being a Maiden. Obviously, the big point of this episode is that it was probably the single biggest leap in Takuto and Wako’s relationship thus far, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some characters commented on an increase in their closeness next episode as a result of this time. I’m a romanticist at heart, with drama romances and romantic comedies being my favorite genres, so I thoroughly enjoyed seeing some real interaction between Takuto and Wako this episode. Having said that, I still think at this point the dynamic between them is underdeveloped and the writers need to do a better job of explaining how the relationship between them works, because as of this point it’s fairly bland. I can’t see myself getting into shipping debates over it, to the least.

As for Keito’s plan, I don’t recall it ever being explicitly stated, but I believe it was to bring Takuto and Wako closer together, as Head declared her plan a success despite Taiga’s inability to pilot a Cybody. Why Kiraboshi would want Takuto and Wako to get closer is beyond me, but it might have something to do with causing conflict in their relationship by creating angst amongst them, along with Sugata. If that is the case, then it seems that romance will be a very prominent driving factor behind this series, which isn’t at all uncommon for Bones productions. With Keito having serious feelings for Sugata, Takuto developing some for Wako, and Wako being seemingly split between Takuto and Sugata, I think we’re in for some serious romance drama plox. As I said before, I don’t mind the romance genre, but I seriously see the potential for it to interfere too heavily in this show. I suppose if that’s simply how the show is structured then I should adept accordingly, but such a development would certainly be outside of expectations for this series. As I said in my write up on episode 1, as long as the anime can incorporate a romantic plot well then I have no problem with it, but I seriously do not want Bones to ruin the potential of the show by force focusing on something needlessly. So far, a specific need for romance has not shown itself, but I’m assuming that Takuto’s relationship with Wako will end up having some kind of effect on the level of phase he or she is at. If not, well, let’s just hope the romance is written extremely well.




  1. I agree with you 100%…episodes 1-3 felt incredibly redundant. Ep 4 was by far my favorite – the “dream” state they were in was the best part, as was the development of their relationship. I still can’t help feeling like I have NO idea what is going on thought…but the potential for the story and the artwork keeps bringing me back.

    1. Because they are redundant. Star Driver follows a formulaic episode format. Whether it’s good or not will depend on the tolerance of the viewer. It really gets repetitive. Really now, how many Tauburn power ups and grandpa advise will we see? Episode 4 managed to be different, though. As for me, I now only watch it for the girls and their leg crossing.

    2. It was missing the Fish girl’s song if my memory was correct. I really wonder what is exactly the link between her story and the two characters… Didn’t she mention something about them both sharing a secret? (they ate the forbidden squid) Sounds a bid like Adam and Eve.

  2. Romance does seem like it’s going to have a big part in this series, which I just about expected from a Bones mecha show. I’m pleasantly surprised that they’re already developing Takuto/Wako’s relationship though, too many series seem to just throw together two main characters at the end and say they’re in love with each other when they’ve had maybe 7 minutes of screentime together overall.

    No problems with the formula for me, I do think it’s done on purpose to create that sense of complacency that you mentioned. It’s already broken from the formula for one episode, so it’ll be interesting to see how long it carries on (maybe to the middle of the series?). Anyway, Takuto finally has a goal and it looks like the main plot is about to kick in, so I’m pumped.

    1. For some reason i do not believe it will be as simply as a love story. I think it won’t be love but something deeper… I think it has something to do with that fish girl’s story.

  3. The 4th episode did help break the formula and present itself with a new development that gave meaning to the plot and character development. I do believe BONES knows what its doing and I’m looking forward to what they have in store.

  4. Oh God.. soo… much.. animation… eye candy….
    Personally, I like episodic formats, except for when there’s an actual plot behind the whole series which is when I really really hate “Monster of the Week”s. (Liked DtB and Mushishi, getting kind of annoyed with Tegami Bachi)

    And rofl at the yaoi.

    Thanks for the post, Suzuku!

    Kit Kat
  5. thanks for getting this post out 🙂
    Well, I don’t really mind the “monster of the week” formula as long as it is epic every week… which it did especially in week 3, and we see dual sword wielding style 🙂 that is just so epic!!
    Episode 4 is surely different… which isn’t bad, although I would prefer to see fighting in a for a mecha series…
    what I am DISAPPOINTED is that there is no fish girl singing in episode 4… :() just kidding, I absolutely love that insert song.

    1. I am interested as well about the north maiden, from the first episode it looked as if she gave herself to Glittering Star also her story is quiet interesting. I doubt if they saved her it would effect the Cybody’s since they are already activated.

  6. Good observation there about setting them up against each other. I was under the impression (haven’t pinned down where this info came from) that Sugata is in possession of the strongest Cybody so it might not be a bad idea to pit them against each other. Then again, Sugata was fine (if not intent) on setting up Wako with Takuto so don’t know if the plan is a good idea.

    1. about Sugata having the strongest cybody was revealed in episode 2… when they were talking together… I wonder if he has the seal or not… but apparently Wako really doesn’t want him to get involved

  7. ehh….so far okay, but i ain’t impressed, the Setup leaves much to be desired. i find it HILARIOUS how he always references something his grandpa said “It’s just like you said grandpa!!” …..ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh I MISS MAI OTOME series

    BROOKLYN otaku
    1. tomoki(sora no otoshimono) definitely has learned better(and funnier) things from his grandpa, his way of doing it without flashbacks doesnt really leave much impression on me, making it somewhat annoying but maybe thats just me….

  8. Even though it’s very likely/plausible, I hope they don’t go down the love-triangle route, or have a huge focus on it. Love-triangles are rage inducing especially when the outcome is obvious (Takuto/Wako) since they’re just dilly-dallying. Wako is a pretty boring and undesirable character, so it would be impossible for me to be interested in or sympathize with people who let her. specifically, effect them greatly.

  9. Part of the main reason why I watch the show every week is to see Takuto do his Galatic Pretty Boy transformation. But since Star Driver is suppose to be reminiscent of the older Super Robot shows plots like this are to be expected.

    Suppa Tenko
    1. i kinda feel you, BUT MAN!!! wouldn’t it be great if he would STRIKE a new pose every time he transformed!?!? i mean seriously, you cant “DAZZLE the STAGE” with the same pose all the time.

      BROOKLYN otaku
  10. How is it that the main character has the ugliest mecha of all of them?
    The first guy (Spike Spiegal impersonator) had an awesome Bull one and Speed Freak and had a pretty cool one, and samurai armor was nice, but the main character has just this horrid monstrosity. Plumes, wide hips, even the main character’s clothes are not as bad as his mecha.
    I kind of wish this anime would have the enemies win in the end, but I guess that’s impossible for this genre.

    1. well… I can think of only one example of the bad guys win in the end… that is X by CLAMP… it is quite old and not really mecha genre… but if you like the bad guys to win, then go check it out… what can I say, it is made by CLAMP…

  11. Thanks for Star Driver recaps Suzuku.

    @ Zone – Sakana-chan’s stories are great, I hope she plays a bigger role as the series progresses. I loved her expressive story telling in episode 4, it was really charming. That and the Monochrome song rocks.

  12. normally im a straight guy and I dislike yaoi(sooo much) but this time I have an exception…
    I prefer takuto and sugata over takuto and wako, they have little spark in their relationship other than “this guy is my savior/always saves me” etc.

    so unless they have more scenes together other than those cybody fights (aka wako only watching on the sidelines) she should help takuto with some magic or whatnot support during fights, I may reconsider.

    1. I’m actually the one who suggested that Divine put that in there, judging from an interview with the director that has been circulating all over the internet. What I meant by “it would be out of my expectations” is that I wasn’t expecting the romance to be more than a small sub plot, but it seems it will be a major driving force for the series.

      As for whether I keep up with posts, I’d be lying if I said I read every single thing. I do have a life. :p

  13. if this turns out like a certain anime starring two idol girls and a guy that likes making paper airplanes, plates will fly. hopefully into takuto’s head. =_=

    other than that, i actually watch this show because its so FABULOUS. and for the lols XD

  14. You may have to reverse your statement on Watanabe (or at least modify it). If I understand correctly only a virgin can use the Cybodies which may also be why they have an interest in Takuto’s relationship with Wako. Given that she’s a member of the organization I think it safe to say that she flirts (and spends a LOT of time kissing through glass) but she’s still a virgin.
    Sadly a good deal of the story feels rushed. Random plot elements like how Wako knows the details about Cybodies are thrown out there without being shown, the others are underused and for a group trying to stop the evil organization they seem to spend more time going to school and getting attacked.
    In its defense I will say that there are three things that save this show for me. The first is Takuto himself. He’s simply so audacious that I want to see his actions. The second is the fighting. The art is excellent and the mecha are so unusual that I want to see more of them (sadly the mecha barely show up for three-five minutes of each episode). The third reason is how ridiculous the villains are. They make good foils to Takuto.

  15. I’ll personally give this a few more episodes, but imho it’s starting to look very “badguy of the week” boring and generic. new badguy shows up, Wako gets kidnapped (teleported against her will?) again, Takuto does his faaaaaaaaaabulous mighty morphin’ power ranger routine to the same insert song/theme tune yet again, then pulls out a new never before seen power to kick ass and save the day. Some random girl talks about fish…

    The antagonists are also all idiots, and the way they treat takuto also reminds me of this particular tv trope: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ptitlel164s0xw?from=Main.Whydontyajustshoothim

    All the antagonists know who he is. So why not just take him out permanently outside zero space? Or…why not use their superior numbers in zero space to gangbang Tauburn with several evil cybodies at the same time?

    What’s saving the show for me is Takuto, the rest of the characters are meh… The unique mecha designs and the art style. But the plot really needs to do start doing something interesting quickly to maintain my waning interest.

    Ninja Penguin
  16. Anyone else notice the two kids takuto saw around the lighthouse in the dream world? I’m guessing they were the same ones in the photo frame takuto was looking at in episode 3, since the world was meant to be based on his desires.

    Anyway I’m loving this show, thanks for the post!

  17. aaahhh… that yaoi… yuuuumlicious!

    yes, what’s up with that leg-crossing thing? i realised it’s becoming a trend because they did that in the latest subbed episode in Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru too for the female lead. well, i must say, it does make me wince a bit because i’m female (haha). i’m trying to see the sexiness there but i have failed miserably. sigh.

    i still haven’t gotten tired of how Takuto ‘henshin’s. it’s pretty refreshing to see a guy do that and u can see a flash of his bare back. heh.

  18. Loved it. Thanks for the review..and honestly, I’m loving this episode. Hilarious that episode 3 had huge ratings compared to the first two eps. People in Japan know what they like.


  19. “That isn’t to say that series of events is bad writing, but having to watch it unfold with each episode is certainly going to make me want to toss my harddrive that I store Star Driver’s files on. I can only hope that this series won’t whore this type of storytelling out.”

    OH GOD That’s literally the same thing that happened to me. Seriously BAD writing in that episode, and it really turned me off this show.

    >_> It seems like they don’t give a shit about exposition, or at least they’re really weird in choosing what to show and what to not show.

  20. I personally love the Monster-of-the-week format and will be sad when we inevitably leave it. Takuto unleashing a new fabulous power every week just brings me so much joy. I’m impressed with how they’ve kept it interesting, too. The plot always keeps moving forward even with the format. It’s an interesting take on it.

    1. Totally agree .. you should also check Revolutionary Gil Utena TV and Bokurano if you want more interesting “monster/fight of the week” series that actually do it right like Star Driver.

      Damn it .. i can’t stop listening to the “Fish girl song” .. i wait for it to paly every epsiode .. so freaking awesome XD


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *